Microsoft is offering Xbox owners a chance to bolster their Xbox Live avatar's costume collection with a new offering tied to the company's 2012 Presidential Debate coverage.

Four debates are scheduled during successive weeks in October, one of which will feature Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, and Microsoft is requiring interested players watch at least three. President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will debate foreign policy on October 3, Domestic Policy on October 16, and an assortment of issues during their final debate on October 22. Vice President Biden and Representative Ryan will also discuss a variety of topics during their Vice-Presidential Debate on October 11.

Got something to say about Election 2012 on Xbox Live? Contact us at the "tips" email below

In an effort to draw viewers to their own live feed, Microsoft has announced that anyone who watches at least three out of the four debates via Election 2012 on Xbox Live will receive a gift; a suit of shiny, gold Halo 4 Warrior Armor for their Xbox avatar. The company didn't say whether or not viewers will be required to watch each debate in full, but we'd be willing to bet you'll have to leave the feed running for more than five to ten minutes. It'll also be interesting to see if poll participation becomes mandatory, otherwise there would be little to stop Xbox Live users from starting the debate, muting it, and going about their evening for whatever period of time Election 2012 on Xbox Live must remain streaming.

In addition, Microsoft is encouraging players to submit questions for fellow Xbox Live owners on Twitter under the "#XboxPoll" hashtag. While the company will promote discussion on Twitter, some of the questions will be selected for use in polling members of the Xbox Live community. During each debate, representatives from Microsoft will choose the top submissions and present them to those watching the debates via Election 2012 on Xbox Live. Answers will be tabulated in real-time, and Xbox owners will see the results of each question as they pour in.

It's great to see Microsoft encouraging gamers to take an interest in presidential politics, especially since the company is also doing a pretty great job of enticing the same crowd to stay home on Election Day with the release of Halo 4. Unfortunately, I don't think an Xbox Live avatar outfit is going to convince many people to tune in; but it did get me thinking...

Hey Microsoft, any chance I could get some Halo 4 multiplayer armor in exchange for a Kinect photo of my "I Voted" sticker?